Ingenico Group has acquired a startup company that will help the French terminal manufacturer advance "screen commerce" by connecting devices to display screens for payment, marketing or loyalty programs.

Ingenico’s acquisition, Think&Go, enables any kind of digital display to interact with consumers’ connected smartphones, transit passes or other Near Field Communication enabled devices, Ingenico said in an April 11 press release.

Merchants using the connected screens can provide marketing, loyalty, coupons, special offers and other downloads for consumers. Think&Go merchants often target impulse buyers who would like to make a purchase of a ticket or service after seeing an ad or offer, or those interested in "drive-to-store" offers in which the consumer scans coupon codes onto their phones for use in a retail store.

Ingenico has worked with Think&Go since 2015 in using the contactless payment technology to convert digital advertising displays into points of sale in a store as well. Although the technology delivers POS capabilities, it is designed for high-traffic areas with digital screens such as shopping malls, train stations and airports.

The connected screens provide an additional sales channel for merchants by operating in both retail outlets and public places, Ingenico said. With the acquisition, Ingenico estimates the number of connected screens available in the market can increase "twenty fold" within three years.

"We are confident that this solution will be a big hit with merchants,” Michel Léger, executive vice president of innovation at Ingenico Group and the head of Ingenico Labs, stated in the release.

“Integrating Think&Go NFC into Ingenico Labs gives us greater opportunity for expansion in the field of connected objects," Léger added.

The acquisition helps Ingenico implement its long-range strategic plans to strengthen the company's role in omni-channel payment acceptance, Léger added.

Ingenico has made a concerted effort early in 2016 through a diversified technology strategy to further position itself as a payments service company rather than simply a hardware manufacturer. Founder and chairman Vincent Berge will continue to manage Think&Go, which began operation in 2010 and currently has 15 employees.

"Connected screens are designed to keep pace with market trends driven by societal change," Berge said in the release. "With their combination of payment features and marketing features, they hold tremendous potential.”

Terms of the deal were not released.

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